My five dimensional roommate

I’ve got to tell you about my roommate. He’s five dimensional.

And no, that doesn’t mean that he “comes from the fifth dimension”, any more than we “come from the third dimension”. I am so tired of everyone treating dimensional like they are alternate realities. That’s not what it means!

It means that my roommate, who calls himself Brian, exists in two more spatial dimensions than we do. We have length, width, and height, and he has length, width, height, Alpha and Beta.

Or at least that’s what he calls them. I’m a programmer, not a mathematician , I don’t know what the proper terms are. I survived calculus and that was it. Extraplanar geometry was not even on my radar.

He seemed perfectly normal at first. A little stiff and awkward, perhaps, but a lot of people get that way when they are being interviewed for an apartment. And he had all his bona fides in order. He’d worked at the same office as a clerk for three years, he had the first month’s rent in cash, my informal background (aka Googling his name) showed no red flags. [1]

But looking back, there were signs that there was something odd about him right from the start. For one thing, he was able to produce an astonishing amount of documentation from a briefcase the size of an iPod. And every now and then, he would start to giggle at something I said then stop and suddenly look very serious.

And when I asked him what was so funny, he would grin and say “Oh, it would take too long to explain.” and that’s all I could get out of him.

And you can bet THAT pissed me off.

But I was desperate. Paying full rent on a two bedroom apartment was taking a huge chunk of my fun money, and Doctor Who DVDs don’t pay for themselves, so I signed him up anyhow and the next thing I knew, he’d moved in.

And I mean that literally. He signed the lease, and then things went out of focus for a second, and then he was all moved in. I went to his room and it was if he had always been there. He had a bed, a TV, a chest of drawers, a DVD player, posters on all the walls, and some kind of game system I didn’t recognize, all moved in and looking like they had been there since Reagan, and all in less time than it takes to say “It is defended. ”

And when I asked him about it, he looked like he had no idea what I was talking about. He just kept saying “I signed the lease and gave you the money so now I can move in. Right?”

I could have kicked him out right then and there, and screw the lease. And there’s been a lot of times since then that I wish I had. I mean, normal people can’t do things like that. Normal people obey the laws of time and space as we know them.

But for whatever reason (curiosity, fear, being damned sick of interviewing people, take your pick), I just shrugged and said “whatever” and went on with my life.

And things were pretty normal for a while. He never seemed to go to this office job of his, but he explained that he was on vacation from it. He seemed to have a lot of high quality stuff for someone who worked as an office clerk, but he said he had gotten a large inheritance from a dead relative (his exact words). And when I asked him where he kept all that stuff when he wasn’t using it (for example, his dozens of guitars), he looked startled for a second, then said “storage”.

But he didn’t say it in a normal way. He said it like this was his first time talking and he wasn’t sure how lips worked.

The Cheez Whiz didn’t really hit the fan, though, until I came home early one day (bomb scare at work… false alarm) to find him surrounded by these bizarre changing shapes making this horrible screeching sounds, like every sound you’ve ever heard sped up to Alvin and the Chipmunks speed.

They all disappeared immediately, but the damage was done. I’d suppressed my unease for a long time, but this was too much. I had to have some answers.

“What the hell was that?” I asked, not unreasonably.

“Uh… just some… friends. ”

“FRIENDS? Those things would give a Dalek the screaming shits[2]. What the hell were they? For that matter, what the hell are YOU?”

And that’s when the whole story came out. Turns out, the person I knew as “Brian” was actually a sort of… meat puppet, I guess, and the um… entity pulling the strings was a five dimensional being known as Elspkarliweelazunkit.

I decided “Brian” would be fine.

“Brian” was actually a sort of dilettante explorer who had decided he would take the time to learn to make and… puppet, I guess?.. a human body and live in (through?) it for an entire year (local time) in order to get the “full 3D experience”.

That’s what he calls us, by the way. “3Ds”. It’s actually one of his least annoying traits.

The… whatevers I had seen when I walked in on him had actually been his friends. He wasn’t lying about that. That’s what he would look like to me, all amorphous and shifting and screaming, if he didn’t have his meat puppet. He’d been using that “gaming console” of his to talk with them and give them updates on his “3D life”.

Apparently, living a 3D life is a big deal in his social circles. He’s their leader now.

So that’s the story of how I ended up with a five dimensional roommate. And you would think, at this point in the story, that now that everything is out in the open and we know where each other stands, everything would go back to normal, right?

But it’s actually about to get a whole lot worse.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Not a lot of green flags either, come to think of it.
  2. People think I never swear, but that’s not true. I just save it for special occasions.

2 thoughts on “My five dimensional roommate

  1. At first I thought you were talking about one of you actual roommates.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_5th_Dimension
    My star sign is Aquarius; I felt they were singing to me.

    Coincidently, I am reading Flatland. In the original French, too.
    It came on a broken Kindle which I fixed by swapping its broken screen with a good screen from another Kindle that wouldn’t turn on.

    Also, I saw these guys in 1993: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Meat_Puppets

    Mathematicians would just say, “oh, we need another basis vector? Let’s call it b5″ and keep on going.

    • It really was the Age of Aquarius… the whole Sixties had that feel to it. The idealism, the humanism, the anti-war movement… all very Aquarius.

      Unless you meant their song Puppet Man, in which case I am totally lost. 😛

      I didn’t know you could read French! I am impressed. And Flatland is the whole reason I understand the whole dimensions thing at all.

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